Are you on a quest to find the right vendor for your channel rewards and spiff program? If you answered yes, at some point on your journey you will be faced with the task of writing a request for proposal (RFP).
What is an RFP?
In its most basic form, an RFP is a solicitation for proposals that your organization provides to prospective vendors. The document defines your objectives at a high level, the scope of work, timelines, specifications, and other details vendors need to know to submit an appropriate bid. An RFP will also ask candidates about their capabilities and how they would meet the project requirements. More than just a quote, an RFP response will arm you with the information needed to select the right vendor for your unique and specific needs.
Writing an RFP for a Channel Rewards Program
When writing an RFP for a channel rewards program, include information about your company and the project such as company background, project overview, timeline, required documentation, and contact information. It’s also a good idea to include a confidentiality clause.
As a channel strategist, I’ve reviewed a variety of RFPs and have noticed that there are specific topics you should cover in your RFP. Below are five. To get the complete list and related questions, download our channel rewards RFP template.
1. Company Overview
Ask about their go-to-market, financial health, existing customers, alliance partners and other company details. You are building a relationship with your channel rewards provider, so you really want to know who you are partnering with. Do they only know about rewards, and are not strategic about the channel?
2. Platform Capabilities
Think about your dream solution and then ask if the company can deliver it. How does the platform handle users? Is it cloud-based, mobile, social? What is the hierarchical structure? Is it persona-based? Can the analytics tool be customized? At what level?
3. Tech and Integrations
If you are looking for a software as a service platform that will continue to evolve and improve, be sure to ask questions that reveal a company’s solution design. Is it single or multi-tenant? Is there a product roadmap? How many releases per year? Can we add custom modules? Does it integrate with CRM, PRM, ERP?
4. Rewards Capabilities
Think about your channel partners and address their specific needs. How many country catalogs do they offer? Are they shipping rewards across the world? What does the assortment look like? Are there pre-paid cards, gift cards, merchandise, and travel in the catalog? How does the reward fulfillment process work?
5. Program Support and Services
A successful channel rewards program is more than just software. Who is on the support team? Are they experienced in the channel? Is there a certified PMO on the team? Are there MarComm resources available? Ask about account managers, customer care for your participating partners, and operational support.
These five points will get you started on your RFP, but be sure to check out the full list of topics and suggested questions available in our channel rewards RFP template.
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